London: Lady Gaga may be famous around the world for her eccentric fashion sense and music, but the singer’s favourite place is her home, according to a new book.
‘Gaga’, by Johnny Morgan, reveals that in times of personal agony and even life-threatening illness, Gaga always turns to her beloved father Joe.
The Egyptian facade of Gaga’s family home on Manhattan’s posh Upper West Side is almost as flashy as the pop queen’s stage outfits.
Originally built as a meeting place for a secret society called the Order of the Knights of Pythias, the apartment block was designed by an architect famed for his cinema palaces.
To her, however, it is just home - the place she can retreat to and fall into the loving arms of parents Joe and Cynthia and younger sister Natali.
They have been in the background of her success and she has said: "My parents were supportive of anything creative I wanted to do, whether it was playing piano or taking method acting classes. They liked that I was a motivated young person."
When aged 19, in 2005, she announced she was moving out, Joe gave her a year to prove herself in her singing career or she would have to come back home.
She relished the freedom but as her career failed to get off the ground she began to experiment with drugs and, writes Johnny, "came close to ruining her relationship with her parents".
The relationship became even more strained as she partied and performed with her burlesque friends. Joe went to see her on stage in one of her raunchy Starlight Revues. She danced in a bikini with glitter balls, supported by transvestite dancers. Joe was horrified.
Fortunately, producer Vincent Herbert was more impressed and at the end of 2007 Gaga made plans to move to Los Angeles where he was based.
"It would do her good to get away from New York. Over the previous six months living on the Lower East Side, Gaga had picked up some bad habits. As at many crucial points in her life, Gaga’s mind was finally made up about cleaning up when she realised that her father knew she was high," the Sun quoted Morgan as saying in the book.
"As she later told an interviewer, ``I never told him what I was doing and he knew. He looked at me and said, ``You’re f***ing up, kid``. I was mortified my father would see weakness in me``."
With Gaga now clean and her career taking off, Joe helped her set up companies to administrate her publishing, merchandising and Haus Of Gaga activities.
Her family world was rocked, however, when her dad needed heart surgery. His health problems provided some of the inspiration for her song Speechless.
Morgan writes: "When Gaga dedicated the song to her father at the Royal Variety performance in England on December 7, 2009, he was in the audience admiring his little girl at work."
Within a month, Gaga had her own scare. Two hours before she was due to perform in Indiana in January 2010, she felt unwell.
She was having difficulty breathing, heart palpitations and was feeling dizzy.
She may well have feared the worst because of a previous family tragedy.
The date 12/18/1974, written at the end of Gaga’s Manifesto For Little Monsters on the Fame Monster CD sleeve, is when her aunt Joanne died from the autoimmune disease lupus, aged just 19.
In June last year Gaga revealed in The Times how she had "tested borderline positive" for the disease.
She said: "I’m connected to my aunt Joanne, who died of lupus. It’s a personal thing."
Before going on stage each night, she and her dancers join together to pray and they end their huddle by chanting Joanne’s name.
Morgan writes: "She has talked of how she feels that she has two hearts and that one of them belongs to her aunt.
"It also reminds Gaga of where she’s from, who she can trust and where to go when she needs sustenance, advice, unconditional love and the space to simply be who she is - back to Joe and Cynthia’s apartment in New York," Morgan added.